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Why Mid-Level Bands Cannot Make Money

moneyShane Blay is a guitarist/vocalist for the indie band, Oh, Sleeper. The Texas based group has been compared to Slipknot and Underoath. You can learn more about the band here. Follow the band on Twitter @weareohsleeper.

For the past five years my brothers in Oh, Sleeper and myself have sacrificed our lives, our time, relationships, birthdays, holidays, health (haha) to travel around and play shows for our fans. Not to say that isn’t been a fun ride!

I would just like to bring a few things to our fans attention.

I would like to show you guys an average day in finances for a “mid-level” band like us. I’m going to breakdown the average monetary ins and outs of a day on tour.

On tour, bands have two ways to make money – guarantees and merchandise.

Will Facebook Competitor Google Me be Indie Artist Friendly?

google-logo_Reports are a brewin’ about  a new “social network” called Google Me after a tweet was posted by Digg’s Kevin Rose. That’s right, Facebook, you allegedly have a competitor being released into the social media realm soon.

It brings me to ask questions about the upcoming social network

Will it be artist friendly? Is there going to be a music player for bands and artists? Are they going to take aspects of Myspace to help the cause?

Cute Is What We Aim For Holds Live Chat Today

CuteIsWhatWeAimFor2Shaant Hacikyan, the founding member of Cute Is What We Aim For, will be hosting a live chat on Livestream on Wed, May 12 at 6:30pm ET before his headlining show at Highline Ballroom in NYC. To chat with Shaant, click on the link here.

CIWWAF kicks off a headlining tour with The Friday Night Boys, The Bigger Lights and Down With Webster today in Boston.

The band formed in January 2005 and in less than a year they were signed to Fueled by Ramen. The band’s 2006 debut The Same Old Blood Rush With A New Touch, produced by Matt Squire, spent countless months on the Billboard Top 200 Charts.

BandCentral: Changing the Way Artists Take Control of their Careers

BandCentral V2 launch officially launched today, offering bands a suite of essential tools that will enable them to take control of their music careers. With BandCentral, artists, managers and labels can organize all the vital business aspects of band life – everything from tours and fan databases, to merchandise and money – enabling them to develop and sustain successful careers.

BandCentral is already being used by thousands of bands, labels and managers, worldwide and changing the way they work for the better.

“There’s real potential here for BandCentral to change the way artists take control of their careers, and I’m certainly keen to see how labels and artists get to grips with it,” said Darren Hemmings, Digital Marketing Manager at PIAS.

The Pursuit of a Record Deal

ist2_234992-signing-contractDo you want a successful, stable and rewarding music career? Would you like to know exactly what record companies, producers, and management companies are looking for when seeking out new artists?

There are many great musicians who are not able to build a successful music career because they do not know what it is these companies want from them. As a result, many struggle and wonder why they are unable to “make it” even though they may be incredible musicians with great songs. What usually happens is that people start to believe the common myth about luck. They believe that you need to “get lucky” in order to “make it”. The result is that most musicians give up on their dreams and get a normal (non music related) day job.

Because you are reading this article, I can imagine that you have probably faced similar challenges. I know how you feel, because I went through the same depressing struggle for years and have seen hundreds of great musicians travel along the same path. But over time, I have discovered that in many cases the lack of success is caused by the musicians (including myself in the past) simply not knowing what it is the music business companies want from new artists.

How to Get Your First Professional Gig – And Establish Yourselves As a Sought After Band

soriamoria_3You’ve just come together as a band and you’re ready to gig. But when you approach clubs to play they want to know where you’ve played in their market before and what kind of draw you usually bring. (Draw means how many paying fans usually come to one of your shows.)

If you’re a new band then your answer would be “we haven’t played before so we don’t really know how many paying fans will come.” And you know what will happen with that answer. They’ll tell you to come back when you have a fan base.

You’re thinking, “Yeah, but we’re such a great band your customers will love us.” The reality is clubsdon’t have customers, bands have customers. People go to a certain club to see a certain band. They don’t go to the Club X instead of Club Y because of the club; they go there because of the band that will be playing.

Internet Songwriting

EmailBefore the days of internet – becoming a successful songwriter depended on a whole different set of factors. For example, as a non-performing songwriter, you would have needed to go out and find an artist or band willing to record your song, or have a music publisher get a cover for you.

As a performing artist, you would at least have had a vehicle for your songs subject of course to whether you or your band had a record deal.

A great deal of the “ifs and buts” of success would have depended not just on the commercial potential of your song, but on who was out there promoting for you, and how much marketing power your music publisher or record company (if you were an artist), had. Of course, much of that still applies today. So why has the internet had such an enormous impact on song writing, commercial recordings and tons of other commodities? I can tell you. Two things: digital, and distribution.

Anatomy of a Great Music Video Contest

…and a few real boners thrown in for good measure…

Music and video – was there ever a better match made and sent down to us from rock ‘n roll Mount Olympus? The answer was no, until the music video contest came along. Now we’re talkin’ serious chem lab explosions. And how about music video contests run by musicians? Welcome to metameme ground zero.

Of course, there’s nothing new about a band or an artist running a contest as a promotional tool, but a music video contest is special (like your cousin Muley) because it’s a self-perpetuating promotional machine that’s easy to use and everybody wins:

  • The musician hosting the contest wins by generating buzz.
  • Entrants win because they’re musicians or indie filmmakers who are also generating buzz by entering the contest.
  • The winner wins a prize and exposure for their own art.
  • And the hosting musician wins again because she just got a bunch of people to promote her music for free!

ingridThere are many different ways to run a music video contest. Let’s take a look at a few going on today to see how the pros are doing it: